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Failed to win Lok Sabha battle, but ousted Panneerselvam, TTV Dhinakaran cut AIADMK’s vote share in south Tamil Nadu

BJP-led NDA candidate TTV Dhinakaran took on DMK's Thanga Tamilselvan and AIADMK candidate VT Narayanasamy in Theni constituency, which was one of the strongholds of the AIADMK. It was the only seat returned in favour of the AIADMK in the 2019 polls.

Failed to win Lok Sabha battle, but ousted Panneerselvam, TTV Dhinakaran cut AIADMK’s vote share in south Tamil Nadu
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 O Panneerselvam 

CHENNAI: Ousted AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam and AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran, who joined hands with the BJP-led NDA, tasted defeat in the Thevar belt. However, they ate into the vote share of the AIADMK and relegated its candidates to distance third in Ramanathapuram and Theni constituencies.

Being a star candidate of the BJP-led NDA TTV Dhinakaran took on Thanga Tamilselvan and AIADMK candidate VT Narayanasamy in Theni constituency, which was one of the strongholds of the AIADMK. It was the only seat returned in favour of the AIADMK in the 2019 polls, while the DMK’s juggernaut romped home in 38 seats.

The former CM’s decision to contest as an independent candidate, as part of the BJP-led NDA, in Ramanathapuram constituency fetched no desired result, but he secured more than 3.42 lakh votes and pushed the AIADMK candidate Jeyaperumal to third position, who secured little over 99,750 votes (as per data in EC website as reports came in). The supporters of the OPS said that they anticipated a victory as there was overwhelming response among the voters in the constituency, but were unable to succeed in the polls. However, “it was a lesson” for AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami as their leader was three times higher than the AIADMK candidate in the election. It is a call to EPS and his close associates to take course correction and work for the common good of the party in the long run.

Dhinakaran reduced the AIADMK’s fortune in Theni constituency. Though he was a popular candidate across the constituency and many villagers recalled his contribution to build village temples and infrastructures such as bus stands, anganwadi and community halls during his tenure as MP between 1999 and 2004, he stood no chance against the formidable alliance of the DMK in this election. He lost by more than 2.78 lakh votes as against the DMK candidate, who secured over 5.68 votes.

Dhinakaran relied on the Mukkulathor votes and managed to eat into a significant percentage of the AIADMK votes. Narayanasamy secured 1.54 lakh votes. It may be recalled that in 2019, the AIADMK candidate and OPS son Raveendranath Kumar defeated DMK ally Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan by a margin of 76,693 votes.

DTNEXT Bureau
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